Will is ready to buy a new Mac Mini with the M1 Apple Silicon processor. He wants to use it for photography. What monitor should he get? Leo says to avoid the Apple XDR display. It's just too damn expensive. The Mac Mini supports Thunderbolt and HDMI, so it can drive many models. Dell makes some really nice monitors for 200-300, but their UltraSharp line would be similar to Will's old iMac. You can get a 27" Dell UltraSharp for $359.
Paul uses an old computer as a server and it has about 1TB of hard drive storage for a non-profit he works at. But it's starting to slow down. Leo says that Paul should let a cloud-based solution handle all the heavy lifting. Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, DropBox. And if he needs more than just data, but a server that runs programs, then Microsoft Azure is a great choice. Leo also recommends using a Dell Desktop Server, rather than an old PC or laptop.
Laurie just needs a basic laptop for checking email, doing homework, surfing in the cloud. Leo says that if she doesn't need special software, a Chromebook is ideal. They are less expensive and more secure. But if she has to run a specific program, then she needs a Windows Machine for that. Then Leo recommends either the HP, Dell, or Lenovo. All three make solid machines and stand by them. HPs are thin and light with excellent battery life. If tough on the hardware, then the Lenovo Thinkpad is built like a tank. Dell is in the middle.
Paul has two Dell Laptops, one with an AMD and one with an Intel i5. Both run at the same speed of 2 GHz with 8GB of RAM and running Windows 10. But the download speeds are vastly different. Leo says that different WiFi chipsets could account for a 20% difference, but not the disparity that Paul is seeing. So something is wrong in the networking stack.
Erin's son wants a good gaming computer that he can also use for video editing. He also wants a laptop. His budget is around $1200. Leo says that the good news is that a good gaming computer than do video editing easily and vice versa. Laptop gaming machines, however, are less powerful because of heat issues. They are also difficult to upgrade so that you won't be able to future proof it. That's why a desktop is likely a better option. And you'll get more bang for your buck too. But if a laptop is a must, Leo recommends starting at Alienware; it's the gaming arm of Dell.
Elliot needs to buy a new computer for watching movies, writing documents and emails, and going online. No gaming. Leo says that opens up to either Windows or Mac, and Windows has been completely bollocked lately due to bad updates. In fact, Microsoft has admitted they no longer really test their updates before putting them out, and Leo says that's inexcusable. But if he needs a Windows laptop, then Leo recommends the Lenovo 2-in-1 laptop. The Lenovo X1 Yoga is also excellent. Great for movie viewing as it can "tent" bend backward to turn into a tablet.
Frank is interested in buying a new laptop, but with Linux on it. Is that a good idea? Leo says that System 76 uses Ubuntu, and Dell is going to be putting out a Linux laptop as well. But if you have an old Windows 7 machine, you can update it to Windows 10 for free, but going with Linux isn't a bad idea either.
Gloria wants to know if buying a computer on the home shopping channel is a good buy. Leo says that it's usually an older model that is underpowered and even may be discontinued. It's usually the same models seen at big box stores like Costco. If she can send it back, go to Costco instead. Gloria can save more for the same model. But Gloria got a good price that's within the price range for that model. She could even go to Dell.com and find out if she got a good deal, and maybe get a better price for a refurbished model. Is it secure? Leo says yes.
Bob is buying the new Apple MacPro. He was thinking of getting the XTR monitor, but he's not high on paying $1,000 for a stand. Leo says that the monitor is really a color reference monitor for professional colorists. It's a beautiful work of art, but it's also $6,000. So for 99.9% of us, it's not necessary. But if you're doing video, you're going to want a very color-accurate monitor. Apple will likely continue to sell the LG UltraFine 5K monitor as well. It's expensive as well, but not nearly as much as the Apple monitor.
Mike is looking to upgrade his PC display with a 4K monitor. Is there a monitor out there as good as the 5K iMac? Leo says that you can get a 5K monitor that is comparable. Costco has a 43" Dell 4K monitor. Will it be pixely? Or will it look good? Leo says that Dell makes really nice monitors. But Dell has two lines: an inexpensive line that's less color accurate, and an expensive line that is color calibrated. So it depends on what you want and need. If you're into photography and video, you want a calibrated display that can give you the full-color gamut.